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2007 May — Why Now?
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Posts from — May 2007

Don’t Miss…

Hipparchia has an article on the latest Florida election debacle: moving the date of the primary. Nothing is a simple as it seems, except the Florida legislature.

Apparently no one bothered to check with the political parties about the shift, and it turns out the primary may have no validity as far as the parties are concerned. Just because they use the labels “Republan” and “Democrat” doesn’t mean they are actually part of those parties – just look at Bill Nelson’s voting record.


Michael, who is currently in Paris, has a post on Barack Obama’s foreign policy positions. Read it and see what you think.

I’m unhappy with it on several points, but it’s your vote.

May 31, 2007   2 Comments

The Shrub of Arrogance

A new award for people who demonstrate depraved indifference to the lives of others if it inconveniences them in anyway.

Update: Homeland Security fails again and the guy is an attorney, so he can’t plead ignorance of the law.

First a citation from the Penal Law of the State of New York:

§ 125.15 Manslaughter in the second degree.

A person is guilty of manslaughter in the second degree when:
1. He recklessly causes the death of another person.

Manslaughter in the second degree is a class C felony.

A C felony results in a prison sentence of up to 15 years.

CNN reported a story, Man knew he had TB before flying to Europe, about a US citizen who knew he had drug resistant tuberculosis, and was warned to isolate himself and take precautions, but decided to ignore the warnings and fly to Europe for his wedding. When the Centers for Disease Control found out he had gone to Europe they contacted him and told him to stay in Europe and avoid flying, so he hopped on an airplane and returned to the US. The man is the first person to be subject to a Federal medical quarantine since 1963.

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May 31, 2007   11 Comments

Grass Is Green

Scarecrow at the Pyro Poodle Puddle notes that the Intelligence Science Board, the people who develop procedures and techniques for the intelligence agencies, have re-confirmed what everyone already knew: torture doesn’t work.

We have decades of study on this question, and every time the question is asked, the answer is the same: torture doesn’t work.

The purpose of torture is to coerce someone into doing something against their will, i.e. sign a false confession, make a propaganda statement. No one has ever gotten usable intelligence from torture, all that has ever been obtained is fodder for agitprop.

May 30, 2007   7 Comments

Reality Check

Laura Rozen found an interesting essay in her post, State, unplugged, by Price Floyd, recently retired director of media affairs at the State Department.

Speaking of the difficultly of his job, trying to put the best face on US foreign policy, Mr. Floyd notes:

We have eroded not only the good will of the post-9-11 days but also any residual appreciation from the countries we supported during the Cold War. This is due to several actions taken by the Bush administration, including pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol (environment), refusing to take part in the International Criminal Court (rule of law), and pulling out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (arms control). The prisoner abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib and the continuing controversy over the detainees in Guantanamo also sullied the image of America.

His basic point is that people aren’t going to listen to what we say when they see what we do.

May 30, 2007   Comments Off on Reality Check

Now The Lake Is Burning

I talked about the fire in the Okefenokee Swamp, and now about 2000 acres is on fire in what was the bed of Lake Okeechobee.

We really need some rain.

May 30, 2007   9 Comments

The News Is Depressing

Fallenmonk notes that Cindy Sheehan is leaving behind the peace movement and the Democratic Party, and who can blame her after the cowardly performance of Congress on funding the war. The fact that the only real benchmark is passing the Oil Law pretty much tells anyone who cares what the war was about – greed.

Of all people, Darth Cheney delivered the commencement address at West Point and the Los Angeles Times notes:

The vice president heaped scorn on “enemies” who “oppose and despise every notion of upright conduct and character.”

“Their cruelty is not rebuked by human suffering, only fed by it,” Cheney said. Yet, he said, they “demand the protections of the Geneva Convention and the Constitution” when captured.

Actually if Cheney hadn’t gotten his five deferments he would have known that they don’t have to demand those things, there was never any question that those rights would be given to them before the Shrubbery took the Wite-out to the Constitution, laws, and military regulations. Hearing Cheney say “Duty, Honor, Country” is similar to hearing Satan preach Scripture.

At this point I will help deserving individuals, but the Democratic Party can go pound sand.

May 29, 2007   6 Comments

Been Busy

My Mother bought a new car. She does this about every ten years, and she was looking at the Honda Fit, figuring it would be more fuel efficient than her gas-guzzling 1996 Saturn that only gets 35mpg on the highway.

Well, the Fit is smaller, but it doesn’t get the mileage that the Civic gets, 38 vs. 40mpg, so she bought a Civic coupe.

Now she has to sell the Saturn, but it needs the headliner recovered, so I have been fighting with the headliner. After you’ve done it once, it’s a snap, but this sucker has been kicking my butt for four days trying to locate the clips for the trim and figuring out how to take things off without breaking them.

It also meant finding someone with a T-55 Torx bit so I didn’t have to spend $25 for a set. Someone decided that SAE and Metric sockets weren’t generating enough revenue so the seat belts are installed with Torx bolts.

I should be back to normal after tomorrow.

May 28, 2007   15 Comments

Memorial Day

Memorial Day

Memorial DayThis is a picture from one of the columbariums at the Arlington National Cemetery, the final resting place of many of those who served the United States since the middle of the 19th century.

That is my Father’s marker. He didn’t know those located around his marker, but they all shared service to their country as part of their life.

Jams O’Donnell’s recent post on his grandfather, reminded me of an obligation I have as soon as things calm down – to check on my great grandfather’s grave.

Alfred Mullen went a long way from driving teams pulling barges on the Erie Canal to being a soldier in the Philippines and China. He is buried in the Chalmette National Cemetery on the site of the Battle of New Orleans. The cemetery was damaged by Katrina, and I should go over and make sure his grave is put right.

May 28, 2007   7 Comments

Re-Running 2000

As a resident of the state of Florida I’m not exactly a fan of the 2000 election, and when I start reading the political coverage and see the same garbage being recycled for the 2008 election I get a little testy.

The coverage of Democrats is going to the the same lightweight “style section” reporting that characterized 2000. I realized that the coverage of policy issues, like foreign affairs, health care, poverty, budgets, is not a world of excitement, but that is the way people know who to vote for. When all you write about is how much someone weighs, how much a haircut costs, what color their clothes are, you need to drop your “political badge” in the box on your way out of the building and start looking for a job in the Sunday magazine style section.

I, personally, don’t want to have a beer with any of the candidates. I gave up drinking a long time ago, and the ability to not get thrown out of a bar is not much a qualification for someone who is going to control the nuclear code of the United States.

I need to know if someone has actually been successful at something. Have they worked in a position of responsibility and what was their job performance? Do they have a working knowledge of the American system of government as outlined in the Constitution? Have they shown a willingness to actually show up for a 40 hour workweek? Are they going to embarrass the United States when meeting with foreign leaders? Do they know how to speak in complete sentences?

Do they have any goals? Do they really understand capitalism and basic economics? Can they balance a checkbook? Do they now know, or have they ever known, anyone named Monica?

Voters are hiring someone to lead the nation, not star in a movie. Why don’t we try to concentrate on the policies this time.

A minor suggestion for this year – why don’t we try real debates instead of modified press conferences.

May 27, 2007   6 Comments

Passing the Plate

Florida License Plates

Florida Plate Blogging


Standard Florida Plate

A weekend feature of Why Now.

May 27, 2007   4 Comments

Are We Safer Yet?

From the Associated Press: A border runs through it: Tiny town worries feds

DERBY LINE, Vermont (AP) — Step through the front door of the Haskell Library and you’re in the United States.

Walk across the carpeted floor to the circulation desk and you’re in Canada. But if you sit down on the couch, you’re back in the U.S.

The 106-year-old Romanesque building, which straddles the international border, has enjoyed a kind of informal immunity from border restrictions through the years.

But a U.S. Border Patrol crackdown focusing on three unguarded streets linking Derby Line with Stanstead, Quebec, across the border, could soon change that.

“There’s been an increase in illegal activity, both north and south, in the last little while,” said Mark Henry, the operations officer for the Border Patrol’s Swanton sector, which runs across northern New York, Vermont and New Hampshire. “There have been some significant cases.”

Under the crackdown, instead of parking their cars outside the library in Quebec and walking to the front door in the U.S., Canadian patrons would have to detour through one of two ports of entry linking the municipalities.

You can’t be too careful. Those Canadians in Quebec are known speakers of French.

The article at CNN has a picture inside the library with a line on the floor noting the border.

May 26, 2007   7 Comments

Happy [Belated] Blogiversary™

Norbiness of Happy Furry Puppy Story Time celebrated his fourth blogiversary yesterday and I missed it.

Go annoy him with a bad caption.

May 26, 2007   Comments Off on Happy [Belated] Blogiversary™

Sorry For The Interuption of Service

Well, things went better than expected as I am apparently back up, but it was annoying for a while.

If you stopped by and saw all of those weird messages, they shouldn’t bother you for a while, as I don’t want to go through this again any time soon.

May 26, 2007   5 Comments


Towel Day

Oh, the rumor about a Vogon constructor ship disguising itself as a comet last year was not true, but I almost missed it anyway.

May 25, 2007   10 Comments